Space-saving packaging for vending machine salads

Efficient processing for maximum freshness

Since 2016, Lisa Zapf, managing director of Zalat-o-mat LLC from the Palatinate, has been operating a steadily growing number of vending machines, called Zalat-o-mats, in which fresh regional products -particularly vegetables and salads from her own farm- are sold. The increasing production volumes now made it necessary to purchase a KRONEN salad spinner and a packaging solution to meet the growing demand.

At 11 locations customers can get their fresh products from the vending machines around the clock: seasonal vegetables, ready-to-eat salads and juices as well as food from any cooperating regional suppliers. To ensure that the vending machines can always be adequately stocked with freshly harvested, washed and packaged salad, Lisa Zapf was looking for a solution to efficiently process lettuce from her own company, which would allow the shortest possible time between harvest and sale.

Fresh spinach processing  

For twelve years now, the family business has used a GEWA washing machine to wash different products. As of August, this has now been supplemented by a KS-7 PLUS salad and vegetable spinner and a KWT 16 weighing table and platform with single-head weighing system, which is combined with a CP 350 PLUS tubular bag packaging machine.

Production of space-saving pack sizes
Before making the purchase decision, Lisa Zapf intensively studied the packaging machines available on the market. These had to meet two criteria in particular: a small to medium processing capacity is sufficient for the family business and it was particularly important to produce the most space-saving packaging sizes possible for salads of 100g, 300g and 500g, since the limited sales area of the machines should be used optimally.

At Fruit Logistica in February 2020, she found what she was looking for at the KRONEN stand and together with Heiko Schönbroich, KRONEN Sales Manager for Southern Germany, the packaging solution was adapted to the specific requirements of space-saving packaging. By purchasing the salad spinner and packaging solution, the processing sequences could be optimised. Now, some 300 kg of salad can be processed efficiently and the promise of freshness can be kept, even with increasing sales volumes.

Lisa Zapf

Flexible and versatile
In addition, the solution is flexible and can be used for different products such as picking salad, lamb's lettuce, spinach or even rocket salad as well as other products. The flexible adaptation also allows the production of additional package sizes for sale to resellers.

The Zalat-o-mats are replenished daily with the fresh products as required, with the goods remaining in the machine for a maximum of 3 days. As an opportunity for contactless shopping of fresh regional products, they are very popular with customers in the region and their attractiveness has increased further in times of Corona. With the KRONEN machines the family business is now equipped for the careful and fast processing of salad products and is well prepared for the commissioning of further vending machines.

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